“The Future of the Humanities / The Future and the Humanities” (U. Canterbury, Christchurch)

“The Future of the Humanities / The Future and the Humanities.” University of Canterbury. 5 November 2015. (Lecture delivered as part of a series in New Zealand during Fulbright Specialist residency at U. Canterbury, October-November, 2015.)

  • Abstract: Drawing on research and advocacy conducted by the 4humanities.org initiative that he co-founded, Alan Liu discusses the contemporary public perception of the humanities, methods of using digital research and communications to develop effective humanities advocacy, and the broader question of the “future” of humanities disciplines, many of which consider history and the past to be their core. What is the relationship of the humanities to the future? And how can designing a stance on humanities and the future position the humanities disciplines to draw on, but also to help reform, today’s power discourses of “invention,” “innovation,” “disruption,” and “creativity”? The talk details in particular the 4Humanities “WhatEvery1Says” project, which uses digital methods to study a large corpus of media and other public speech about the humanities in order to assist the humanities in reframing the debate.